Posts Tagged ‘Alberta Politics’


There is a weird practice called proof texting, where for some in the Christianities, for it to be “true” there must be a literal connection almost verbatim to a text of scripture (in these movements termed Old & New Testament, in an attempt to avoid dualism and implied anti-Semitism, I continue to use terms Hebrew Bible and Christian Testament). Now with large topics, it can be downright ludicrous to move forward with this proof text practice, which brings us to some thoughts of a cruciform response to defund the police.

I am not going to enter into the extremes of the argument presented from the alt-right of essentially gestapo or to the anarchist of complete personal responsibility with no concrete laws or enforcement for societal norms and safeties, neither of these arguments aid us. Throughout the history of humanity there has been some form of law, in the Commonwealth nations we hold to Common Law, which grew out of laws presented and outlined in Exodus-Deuteronomy of the Hebrew Bible. More so, because the laws around such things as murder, provide a variance of understanding. Obviously, the political usage of police and armed services, the over specifying of laws can create loopholes that allow for ease of exploitation, corruption, and abuse. Properly funded judiciary (that includes the scope of the courtroom, Crown Prosecutors, Defense lawyers, appropriate training of understanding the application of the laws for jurists) and enforcement is necessary within society.

What is not necessary is overfunding because we have shifted the burden of response for every emergency response for every situation onto the constabulary (which is unethical as it has them working outside the scope of their practice). Why is this a religious look? Because it has become a religious issue in that the current governance in Alberta has put faith front and centre and has diminished the evidence based response of what is communal good and belonging especially with the current justice minister interjecting into civic budget discussions of a 4% rollback on police budget (which was at the request of police services) to fund more preventative programming and fiscally have a healthier overall impact. Though this is the response seen federally by the Harper government in wanting to disrupt healthy restorative justice-incarceration programs for youth as it was leading to lower recidivism and incarceration rates. Also, we have heard of a bill to so-call end carding from our current provincial governance, the practice is street checking citizens at supposed random, what statistics show is that the practice is highly a racial profiling tool, and systematic use of power to oppress. What is not ending with the bill in my scope of understanding, is not the practice of street checks, but rather tracking racial data (the idea if we can’t see it, it is not happening) to end an issue.

Which leads to some touchstones of thought on the topic.  From the Hebrew Bible prophetic writers there is much around care for others, belonging and justice. This can be a blind spot for many in the Christianities as we want to read the prophets as future oriented, when in fact they are continuing the tradition of Judges, that is pointing our where society has gone amiss, the harm being done by these actions of those in power, and the power differentials and the need to admit, correct, repent and reconcile to move forward in God’s shalom and love.

Some thoughts, from Amos:

You twist justice, making it a bitter pill for the oppressed.
    You treat the righteous like dirt.

It is the Lord who created the stars,
    the Pleiades and Orion.
He turns darkness into morning
    and day into night.
He draws up water from the oceans
    and pours it down as rain on the land.
    The Lord is his name!
With blinding speed and power he destroys the strong,
    crushing all their defenses.

10 How you hate honest judges!
    How you despise people who tell the truth!
11 You trample the poor,
    stealing their grain through taxes and unfair rent.

-Amos 5:7-11 (New Living Translation)

Take time with this topic from your point of view, take time to enter a Lectio Divina from Amos. Hear the words in three readings, after each hearing take a few minutes to journal in your reflection whether that is through writing, drawing, doodling or all to come to an answer before moving into the next reading. If possible in your household cohort do this together to share thoughts and ideas between each reading and at the end, add in those on a speaker phone or video call to create a sound discussion in communal discernment.

First reading: What is the mind saying on the topic (the evidence)?

Second reading: What is your heart saying? Is this a bias that is acting counter to the honest judge?

Third Reading: What is the Holy Mystery saying to you in the silence? What does it mean to move into the light and forward?

From this reading, we move into action thought, as found in the prophet Micah’s words:

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
    and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
    and to walk humbly with your God.

-Micah 6:8 (New Living Translation)

Take time to rest in God’s love, and what is the humble calling? Action is simple, for those who still have Christian Testaments with the words of Brother Jesus in Red, the call is to Love neighbour as ourselves. Take time in this love to make your voice heard to those that represent us politically.

Find your Calgary Councillor here.

Find your Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta here.

Let the voice of imagination, creativity, belonging, love, shalom, and justice be heard.

Amen.

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Watching media and social media feeds during this time of c-tine, one can begin to think the entire human race is like Hugh (The Borg) in the Next Generation coming out of the collective for the first time, or the last Dalek in the Ninth Doctor’s only season, unable to process too much information and emotional spectrum choosing destruction instead. We are at a crux as a society, for c-tine has caused a pause from the keeping up with the Jones’ mentality, and removed the excuses of no time to look into things or letting someone else do it. The challenge of the time is that some are still existing in the hard dualism of one side having to be completely evil so you can be completely good, not wanting to be okay with the gray, or compromise or discussion or seeing outside of our own ego-centric personal fable.

And if what you’re hearing is the emergence from adolescence-emergent early adulthood as a species, you would be correct.

Just going to take a walk about into some thoughts as it has been a while since I’ve written, so grab a cuppa and join the thought meanderings.

First we as a society, whether we want to admit it or not, are moving through grief. That is why we are seeing such a ramping up of denial and anger as those that do not want to process through the emotions they are feeling and need social support that is now at a distance, or unwilling to reach out to the professional supports available. Just think over the past 131 days what should have happened– year book signings in schools, graduations, end of year celebrations.

Within our own family it was to be our daughter’s first Pride in Alberta, and due to covid we are unable to be there. Each summer my kids do the small town parade tour both being in (fundraising for kids charities) and watching as activity with their grandparents they were unable to be a part of. My daughter was to be in her second summer at Pine Lake Christian Camp (though thankfully they have thought outside the box and provided a summer of online activities, but still not the same), she was finally a part of a choir and band and the concerts have been cancelled. After my own health journey I was back into a new vocational journey only to have it up ended.

Learning curves, losses, new ways of connecting. All these pieces play a role. They create grieving that we have to acknowledge and process.

Then the world around us has the same pains. Yet some factors attempt to aid, others do not. This moves into thoughts of our political culture.

It always amazes me that the governing party in Alberta and our Premier normalized workplace harrassment and bullying, dehumanizing of the opponent and actually pay online trolls to continue. They laugh openly and mock in the legislature, but hyper fixate when someone outside their party uses the same tactics.

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Though the storm cycle foes show our alien gods, Thor, trying to keep us inside so the world can heal.

Do I agree with this degeneration of behaviour, and the illustration for what is appropriate it gives to the young? No.

Do I feel the frustration of others and lowering themselves to the level of bullying of the ideological conservative in Canada (and yes our last Federal election in Canada showed this as well)? Yes I can, sadly in moments I to may have, but really we need to make “raise the bar of decorum”.

Words are empty without actions.

Truly though, it has to come to a collective good. Which means all those involved cannot be on the path of seeking wealth and power through politics, but see it as a vocational calling for public service to fulfill the constitutional guarantee of peace, order and good governance.

It feeds into the understand of that tax money is a collective of the citizens to be used for the citizens, these investments in society through infrastructure, government entitlements, public services (road crews, utilities, health care, education, etc) create the type of space and health that attracts investments from businesses. It is also understanding that natural resources do not belong to the government or to the corporation but as Premiers Manning Sr. and Lougheed understood and created the roadmap successfully adopted by other jurisdictions, but to the citizens and for their stability.

Can we get back to a collective healthy narrative of belonging and care, that strips populists from the centre stage and relegates the extremists on either end of the spectrum back to the rubbish bin the sentiments belong in?

For my province’s response to Covid, stripping our CMOH of the power to override political lack, and instead places the politician as supreme. It has made a Trump-lite response that is seeing a trending/ramping up to wave 2 that is impacting those under 39 years old the most, and of course to cover up the failing of the plan by not following medical research and best practice to fight the virus, coupled with an ideological drive for American style for profit health care and deciding our medical community and doctors are the enemy during a pandemic. This has led to nearly half of doctors looking to work elsewhere. We finally recovered from the Klein area lunacy and lack of doctors, only to have these extremists start the cycle again.

But to shift the focus (of the daily announcements attacking the way and quality of life of Albertans) the game of destroying public education continues, with the Minister announcing a return to near normal school in the fall with just a deflection that schools and their boards are to figure it out, and false announcements which is re-announcements of pre-pandemic funds that were to be used for off set infrastructure fixes. In Calgary at least our high schools are at or over capacity, yet they are to be expected to physically distance—uhm. The Alberta government aid? PSA posters and videos. The minister has no answers, refuses to release a costed plan, or the full recommendations of the CMOH. This is just in the typical streams, for the complex medical kiddos nothing has been said or even thought of. Makes me wonder if this is just not the continued, passive-aggressive social eugenics at work. Hoping the pandemic eliminates the oldest and most disabled so the cuts goes unnoticed.

And then the recent minister of the crown in Alberta calling police on protesters outside his Edmonton office. The bill tabled to remove the constitutional right of protest that even hate groups have filed court challenges against. It definitely feels for a Canadian that we are living in a bizarro world, and need to listen to our government through a bizarro translator (that is hear the opposite of the words said).

Which brings us to the fun on the Federal stage, the one place that if not for the Federal government my neighbours vocally hate, we would have had no support throughout this time of pandemic and economic disruption. The new entitlements like CERB, that conservative premiers are decrying as a disincentive to work, for a full time 40 hr week the $2000 a month works out to about $12-13 dollars an hour…If your companies are not paying minimum wage, and providing research based safety for employees during a pandemic that is on the marketplace and not on a government entitlement supporting citizens like they should during this time. It is also important to explore what a universal basic income can be, let’s change society during this time.

Also I would be remiss if we did not touch upon the WE fiasco. You can google and see the media frenzy around it, as well as posturing from Opposition parties, and the polls. The governing Liberals took a hit in support but it is now rebounding.

What is the crux? From my reading, is that a sole sourced contract was awarded to the WE organization to administer a pay-volunteer program for youth (about $10/hr). Should it have been administered through the already existing government agencies? Yes, but this is a practice of governments to use non-profits to create distance. We see it in Alberta with things such as the Calgary Homeless Foundation.

WE needs a full audit on how monies are used, as any non-profit should have (especially those receiving government monies), there needs to be accounting and rationales for expenditures and subsidiaries. For those who want to hyper fixate on the pay for speaking of members of the Trudeau family, explore closely, look at the locations, and expenses covered. As well, some speakers get paid, some do not. I have been paid by WE many years ago for an event in Calgary.

As for the ethics around PM Trudeau and Finance Minister Morneau, with known ties to the non-profit being in the room when the decision was made. Yes, they should be cited for an ethics violation. When Minister Morneau had pointed out to him the $41,000 that needed to be repaid for travel, he remediated immediately. Does it show our finance minister is wealthy? Yes. Does it show corruption? Possibly, but more chequebook oversight.

Now for the calls for resignation or the opposition parties will trigger an election? Do the opposition parties truly think this will turn out well sending us into an election during a pandemic? The Liberals have brought us through the pandemic, maintained our triple A credit rating, and continue to govern. Andrew Scheer, conservative party leader who resigned but stayed was caught misappropriating funds so where is his ethical stance to lead and govern? Honestly, Government, call the bluff. I would easily vote for a rock ran as a Liberal in my riding (yes I would throw out my normal process) to send a message on politicking over collaboration.

But WE has opened up the idea that we need to follow trails and take audits seriously. We also need to ask what should stay in the realm of government agency ad not be handed off. In Alberta our reminder of this is the safe-consumption site in Lethbridge which was not AHS, but rather the non-profit ARCHES, and the question of $1.7 million. In honesty, they knew the government was not ideological supportive of their approach even though it is evidence based. The onus was on the non-profit to ensure everything was above board, this is a warning to the sector that needs to be heard, and to government that citizens need and want transparency and accountability.

Finally, masking. Sigh.

The fact “Christians” are front and centre against it saddens my pastor soul. Obviously they have missed the love your neighbour piece of the Great Commandments of Brother Jesus. For mask protect our neighbour, everyone wears them that can (our medically complex may not be able to, but if everyone else is should halt spread enough) so, ifyou’re a Christian, sorry it is not a get out of masking card. Want to stand on civil liberties or the “why wasn’t it needed at first?” Uhm… Smoking by-laws, seat belts…

Which is why my heart sang when my local city did what our province refuses (though with a Premier trumpeting “herd immunity” the failed Sweden.UK experiment, and Trump cures, what do you expect):

Image may contain: text that says "TEMPORARY FACE-COVERING BYLAW Exemptions: Children People with Where old CTrain ublictransit, sucha ataxi indoor spaces, includ- ofCalgary puildings Bylaw takeseffect: Aug.1 Aug. Whileating drinking ina food beverage premises Vhilenagig athletico activity receiving services, visitto dentist such GETTY IMAGES Face covering REQUIRED persons indoor vehicle. covering 6M2020 business owners operators required display signage public entryways vehicles $100-$200 Fine failing mask display proper ignage Gotocalgary.ca/covidfor entireli SOURCE: exemptions ndothe CALGARY DARREN FRANCEY POSTMEDIA"

Also wanted to do a quick touch base on this concept of “new terrors emerging”. No it is not new, BIPOC have always been needing equity, equality and justice. We expect our police to work outside the scope of their practice far too much, and need to create a system that provides the professional tools and individuals necessary for societal health both on the prevention and intervention. Also it needs to be a system that allows for worker health, not the ideology that is prevalent of “do more with less”.

As well, the concept pedophilia is a growing concern in our world. It has always been a concern. Historically in Canada the Truscott false conviction illustrates the abuse of power to cover up abusers (as well as Graham James, residential schools, religious abuse stories). Ensure what you use to source the fight are true, not nutbar conspiracies. Child sex-trafficking (I still cannot unsmell the Calgary trickpads I did rescues in), recruiters online, in malls, and schools, and child sex tourism (honestly, rape) have existed for centuries, in the 90’s there was attempts to put laws in place that were enforceable. It is not new that pedophiles seek mainstream acceptance by piggy backing onto know entities, whether it is attempts to be accepted into the sexual spectrum (and removed from the diagnostics as a disorder) or to use the ideas of non-profits, unions, or community leagues to normalize. It has been on going, just look at the despicable history of orgs like NAMBLA…which first entered the conscience of mainstream due to Andrew Vacchs Batman novel in the `90’s that opened up the fight against this darkness.

Like with everything, it is being open and honest with the stories, the trauma, the horror, and then saying never again. This time though we need to mean it. We as a soceity need to let authentic truth stand, and then agree to end the darkness by letting our light shine through.

During this time I encourage you to take time to unplug. Be with yourself, and those close to you. It can be a time of reflection, as the concept of Sabbath, there is underlying constant anxiety we may be unaware of, but in the new pause… figure out/discern what the next chapter of your life is meant to be? What are the passions you hold? Interests? Hobbies?

Discover who you are.

Discover your passion.

Now, plot twist time.


Control + Alt + Delete for many with computers that was how you would escape the screen freeze or blue screen of death. Then have to answer the question if you wanted to restart in safe mode. Alberta thought they were doing that when the United Conservative Party was elected to governance just over a year ago. The traversing of change, the needing to re-invent our economy, and create space for belonging for everyone had stalled many out in the change process in anger and denial.

That was preyed upon by a high centralized bully culture.

Is it the best governance? How many voters have voter remorse as our world class institutions were decimated, the world rebuked our oil and gas sector for the draconian ways we scaled back to, and diversification was cancelled. With announcements of Premier Kenney tomorrow (Monday) around diversifying our economy, one has to simply wonder is it relabeling NDP era policy as UCP to try and win back support, knowing the shenanigans’ of this government I would side on yes.

In the midst of cancel culture though, it raises the question what about governance and politics? Why do we accept shady business and almost zero accountability for actions and behaviours? Have we defaulted to our “colour” must win at all costs in striving for power and be damned the consequences to ourselves and neighbour? Data points to yes.

The ideological lock chain does not help out world, our neighbour or ourselves. It locks us into false dichotomy for solutions with no robust discussion on topics and research. It leads to school yard tattle tale gotcha moments that can deflect from the ongoing ineptitude in governance for all Albertans (insert your context here as I am sure you have examples). The rallying cry for engagement has always been the least you can do is vote.

NO! That’s not the least you can do, showing up and putting an “x” beside the party name, as you say it’s the leader not the local representative doesn’t matter—oh but it does. For when the leader with the centralized power is off base, it is the local members that need to hold them to account, and within the Westminster System have the power to replace.

Knowing the character of the person wanting to represent your party is important. Do they show up for debates and events? Do they live locally and have their kids in the public institutions? Are they a parachute candidate from somewhere else? A paper candidate or flag bearer (just letting their name stand on the ballot)… all these things are important and need to be understood, for if we move beyond gotcha, to the ability to demand better choices we begin to engage. In the last federal election the Greens and Cons played games with voters with the gotcha era pretending to fire candidates, and then election day people were shocked they were still on the ballot, once confirmed you are confirmed. Know our system, the local constituency associations need to take seriously a candidate search and are the main point of vetting for the best to represent… are they doing their job?

What if the ballots were party blind? No parties listed, just names, how would you choose your representative? You’d actually have to get to know them, and the volunteers behaviour would reflect directly on them…those that espouse ableist, rascist, queer hate, misogynistic views would be held to account. Also, knowing they could not fly under the party colours how much more seriously would the local EDA’s take the vetting? Would all parties be fielding full slates? Or would their be times if a candidate had to be of good character and active in the election period to stay on the ballot (i.e. 3 debates planned must make 2 or are deleted)…would we get a better crop (and I do believe a ranked ballot would aid the process even more).

Cancel culture when used well and targeted appropriately can bring about positive change. It needs to hyper focus on our political systems, demand better choices, push media to remove the voice of opinion from policy, and close off the options for populist-extremism on either side to be shuttered away, to create space for robust discussion of the issues, and the big questions on why and how? The voice to strip the centralized power from the First Minister’s office (Prime Minister and Premier), to re-empower the local representative, remove the party whip, and allow the local voices to come together to create consensus policy for the whole.

The least we can do is to open the conversation and share why things matter and are important, to create a space for healthy, robust debate and dialogue so that come election day, it is not an adversarial approach to save our own fragile egos that our team needs to win like some Stanley Cup play off round, but be able to say the local candidate with the best ideas is the one that was voted for and elected.

Ready to do the least for the vote?

If you’re interested in being a part of the reboot of our province, I encourage you to check out https://rebootalberta.com/


I am starting to think I sound like a broken record around the constitutional guarantee in Canada of “Peace, Order and Good Governance”. Many in electoral reform circles like to focus on the method of electing officials instead of the first step being unity of the citizens. As ideological entrenchments begin to outstrip collective good, Americanized fear based media mongering creeping into the Canadian narrative, we are now seeing an entrenched Urban versus Rural mindset.

I have family that lives both sides of this developing divide. Those who are in Rural Alberta, and Urban, I am an urbanite that enjoys the pace and community of the smaller centre life. Some would say the provincial collapse of the PC Dynasty is to blame, but I would point out in that dynasty neither group got effective representation as they could have had. Currently some would point to the NDP-UCP fiasco and that perpetuating the divide, I would say there is plausibility to that theory.

What is hard is that in the current discourse of society we enjoy to out shout someone, to keep our argument to 240 characters (I don’t know whether to thank Twitter for the increase or not), never give ground acknowledging someone else’s point is valid, always seek the one solution for multiplicity could not be possible and that surely there is not shared concerns. I could easily pull a conservative rural troll argument on an Urban issue to prove a point, but I will invert- Jason Kenney, his politicking on the issue aside, tweeted an Okotoks RCMP crime watch picture of thieves…was the response some decent kudos and retweets—no it was the vitriol. We all share these from our area when the police issue them, we even share them from other jurisdictions, but we have become entrenched in the belief that our concerns can’t possibly be the others.

Instead of Rural Albertans and Urban Albertans—howzabout a simple statement, We are citizens of Canada, that live in Alberta (or Albertans). In fact, I would challenge the Alberta Government to look at creating exploratory committees on issues differently (and yes this is the party of the majority, the loyal opposition, and all other elected MLA’s).

Crime is something that is a province wide concern. Rurally you have a mixture of long-term settlers; reserves and colonies (colonies being of Hutterite, Mennonite and Dukhobor), plus persons with disabilities, an aging population. What are you seeing? Oh, an urban population just spread out over more land? Amazing when we talk about who are neighbours are in context what it means. It means though more spread out where someone coming home, as my wife did 3 years ago, will notice shattered glass and a robbery to call police right away, or someone in the yard is only feet away from the house and call the police right away…it means on a large farm it may be a call to the RCMP detachment that services a county of many farms/villages/colonies/etc. with a few constables. It may be reporting what has been stolen, but not right away as you were not in that building every day and just noticed it. It could be hunters poaching animals on your land during hunting season as one of our MLA’s has been found guilty of doing. We know drug use is rampant in both settings, but we know pipelines come through smaller centres (20 years ago it used to follow the old still lines via Water Valley) and then distributes through new city subdivisions down to the core. Same issues, different complexities.

Health Care. We know the idea of population based health care. Leveraging home care so individuals can stay in their homes longer. The need for mental health supports. All these things we do by population numbers (and trust me in urban settings like Calgary we do not have capacity). Yet rurally they have the same instances per capita, yet more spread out, and continually seeing closure of facilities. No, it is not just like travelling via transit or circle road to the next quadrant to access that care or relative who has moved. In some cases it becomes hours via highway to the next level of care or housing. Urban dwellers voice concerns when families are separated due to coding systems and stressors. When quantity of life, and the number a person is, is placed over quality of life. Rurally, it can be whole counties that separate spouses due to their “code” of care. It can even be moving from one town to another, coded to one home, then one physically needs higher physical care, and even in a lower use jurisdiction when there is a two bedroom available and all the experts sign off, the powers that grant housing say NO because the codes are different. No context taken in, not quality of life looked at.

Yet whether you live in a city or rurally, you watch your elders, your children, who are in need suffer. You watch as the need for access to mental or holistic care is denied because you either live in a city where wait lists are huge, or in a rural place where the population does not allow and must travel. Travel is not always a plausibility.

Education… many factors in, we complain about cold days this winter in Calgary, but what of the same weather that literally shuts down bus routes in some areas, how many days are lost? For that time is there some technological solution to ensure all Alberta students regardless of residence receive the best education possible?

Poverty reduction—better term: Improving the affordability of life.

Caring for our seniors so their golden years can be adventuresome not fighting for survival.

See…the political system wants you to view where someone builds a life as another way to create an us-them divide. BUT WE ARE ALL IN THIS.

I propose, and it is out there now as open source policy for any party that wants to think outside the ideological box:

Committees of research and reconciliation be struck to explore these topics in real time. They need to be all party committees. But I challenge some points to really get into the flow (for the action research projects you can use a TRC model or World Café, as they allow the story up to now to be told, but then the impetus becomes on the solution moving forward as one):

  • The chair needs to live in a riding not in the setting (Rural chair needs to be from one of the 7 cities; Urban chair needs to be from rural ridings)-if a government MLA chairs one, the official opposition MLA needs to chair the other.
  • Membership needs to be made up of leading community leaders of the area; but also of some experts on the topic, and MLA’s from the various parties with no majority given to any party.
  • The reports need to grow policy recommendations for a new system that serves all Albertans (if taken federally, all Canadians, because let us be honest it is time to look at the Constitutional Division of powers and what reality of 35-40 million people need to be supported in a globalized world).
  • The role of the legislature with the tabled reports is to work with this as the premise to grow from, not to create partisan hot potatoes.

Other points to improve our democracy:

  • If the premier comes from a rural riding, deputy premier needs to be named from an urban riding, if the opposite does not exist in the governing party they must name from another sitting MLA.
  • Learn from the Yukon, if Premier is non-indigenous, Lieutenant Governor should be named from Treaty or Metis Nations or one of the Colonies as noted above in the article that make up our mosaic.
  • Amend laws for all electoral districts that one must live in the riding they are seeking to be an elected official in. Paper/parachute/write-in candidates cost our system money through vetting and printing of ballots. If a party cannot locate someone to run under their banner in said area they do not run a candidate, running a full slate is not a given.
  • Eliminate PAC donations (I would propose eliminating all donations and just provide free radio air time for the direct candidates’ campaign not the party, and have a certain number of debates set up that the person must attend unless they can document why not (i.e. Sickness).
  • Create a mechanism to encourage more independents to run by allowing Elections Alberta to issue tax receipts for their reported donations lists (if donations continue).
  • All donors’ lists must be ratified by a trained accountant and publicly posted no more than 1 week before vote time (so no fundraising last week of election-that is if donations can persist).
  • Sidebar, the federal idea of bailing out local newspapers has merit in renewing democracy if as part of the money they must carry 50% local content by local writers/photographers, and at least 1/5th of content must be to be looking at politics providing editorial space to a range of voices. Y’know what newspapers were like before conglomeration.

These are my ideas. I am what one would call “post-partisan”. I have always looked at the local candidate to conclude on my vote. Yes, I ran in 2006 for the Federal NDP, but I have also worked with the Federal PC Party and Federal Liberals, so meanderings with Greens and Communists and many other smaller parties and independent candidates. Remember parties are a functionality of our system, not how our system is designed to work so these things and others, are possible to create reform that bring us back together, united in our diversity.

A true Canadian Mosaic.

First we must see them as us, and us as them, or better yet, as neighbour, as citizen building a better future together.


It is official, the Wildrose Party and Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta have a betrothal agreement.  I am going to avoid soap boxing about allusions to the McKay-Harper merger fiasco federally that put centrists out of the party structure and those not wanting the merger unable to vote. Even though under 60% of eligible voters for each party (55-PC; 57ish-WRP) voted to give the 95% YES for both parties (and ignoring the WRP PIN issuing issues).

But the membership that did vote, much like any election the citizens that did vote, carry the mandate and form the government–or in this case the new party.

Yes it does alter the landscape politically whether or not one wants to admit it. Much like the fall of the 44 year dynasty (though I stretch that conservative control back further to Ernest Manning’s So-Creds after Aberhart’s transition, but very few historians back my opinion) fell to Rachel Notley’s NDP. We are 2ish years into a 4 year mandate for what could be another dynasty, a transitional pivot, or a course correction for Albertans where we allow our compassion, rationality and pragmatism to enter fully into our voting so we no longer elect dynasties (minority government anyone? Just for a few terms to correct much of the muck that is our money eating bureaucracy?).

But is the UCP the utopia that will accomplish this? One cannot say as they are a vote tally, and a name. What is being seen, much like the federal vote of merger is an exodus by Red Tories seeking a new political home–this federally gave bumps to Greens, Liberals and NDP, but also the formation of smaller parties like the Progressive Canadian Party as these centrists searched for political home.

That is the story of Alberta currently. The Alberta NDP is calling on them to take out a membership, so is the Alberta Party and Alberta Liberal Party (just look at the Centre Together movement that meets in Red Deer).  There is an open call, and a caution. Slow down when seeking the new home, or the first home. Really explore all options on the table. Contemplate, meet your local associations and members (for it is not just policy, but those members in your area you will be a apart of)…and simply see where you fit?  It may surprise you.  Also remember a strong party regardless of size allows members to speak into all aspects, and craft the policies that shape the party.

The landscape is re-shaping in Alberta. It is our time as Albertans to put out there we no longer want decisions made by blind ideology, rather we want solid Peace, Order and Good Governance that has citizens, not PACS-lobbyists or politicians, best interests at heart.

Begin your party search here (for those with websites simply click on the name, otherwise office contact is listed):

Alberta First Party:

Alberta Liberal Party

Alberta New Democratic Party

Alberta Party

Communist Party Alberta

Green Party of Alberta

Pro-Life Alberta Political Association (Formerly Social Credit)

United Conservative Party (UCP-PCAA & UCP-WRP)

Reform Party of Alberta

I also encourage you to keep your ears open for local Independent candidates in your riding that you resonate with to support. For every voice in the legislature matters for crafting the best social contract.

…We’re practical and generous and open and bold. We want responsible and accountable spending. At the same time we’re willing to pay fair value for efficient and effective government services, but we want to know each and every dollar is put to good use…

-Greg Clark, Alberta Party Leader excerpt from Facebook Post July 22, 2017


There is a black hole of ethics within Alberta Politics, and I am not sure if any party has been spared it. You see there is an ability for financing of campaigns to go unhindered, and to even have illegal donations made without so much as a blink by the governing party.

So what needs to happen?

What about taking financing of political entities right back to membership bases. Here is what I am thinking:

1) Ban any corporate or union donations

2) lower/enforce the cap on personal campaign donations to individuals of a voting age.

3) Cap spending per candidate campaign at a maximum of $5000, and that the provincial party can only spend $25,000. This makes for more efficient and targetted campaigns.

4) Instead of each candidate renting their own office, have each riding-zone a community centre in their area that the province will rent for all candidates to use as a central office so that citizens can go there to connect with all the campaigns.

5) Ban the unrecyclable lawn signs (pet peeve, and just environmentally unfriendly).

6) To be allowed to be on the ballot come election day a candidate must:

a. prove that they live in the riding their are running in.

b. prove an active campaign (not just be a name on ballot/flag bearer    of                  a party).

c. Attend 3 all candidate debates in the riding. Each debate to be held at local community centres/public schools.

d. disclose all donors the week before the election to the public.

e. If any of these requirements is not fulfilled, what happens is that there is a press posting at the ballot station informing voters candidate Y is no longer available for votes. Any votes cast for them will be counted as a spoiled ballot.

For parties, it is quite simple, if more than half of their candidates break the rules the party loses its charter and is unable to reform. Any elected MLA’s from that party become independents, if they opt to join another party they must resign their seat and run in a byelection.

If the party refuses to release all donors on election day (and in each public annual report) or is found to have received illegal donations they shall be disbanded and unable to run candidates or collect donations.

So Albertans? Does this sound like a plausible reform? and if so how do we do it?